Search for Resources

Heat Up Over Climate Change

Exploring climate change and the effects on the world's children; a peer education pack



The purpose of this education package is to ensure students connect climate change to the effects it is already having on children living in the world's most vulnerable communities. The pack is divided into four sections:

Know More - three activities to increase understanding of climate change and its effects on the world's children.

  • What Climate Change Really Means - 45 minutes- After watching a video and examining a  flow chart, students describe effects of climate change on children's rights.
  • Rising Tide - 30 minutes - Through active team simulation, students experience the effects of decreasing land mass due to rising sea levels.
  • Ready to Go? - 15 minutes - Through active team simulation, students learn what it would be like to have to quickly evacuate their home, then listen to the story of a child caught in this situation for real.
  • Feeling Angry? - 2 hours- After watching a video and taking part in the accompanying discussion, small groups of students decide on what messages they'd like to get out regarding climate change and then decide how they will do it.

Explore More - two activities designed to examine responsibility for climate change.

  • Big Emitters - 15 minutes - using a regular world map students work together to predict the top five world carbon emitters. They then compare their predictions to the Guardian's Carbon Atlas and discuss what's going on.
  • Climate Superhero Auditions - 40 minutes - students role play provided superhero descriptions. The goal is to create the perfect climate change action team. They then go on to discuss the impact of small team action verses every single person action.

Do More - A section that provides support and guidance for climate change action projects.

  • Be the Change - as long as needed - with teacher support and the do more guide to action, students decide on and plan for successful action against climate change.

Share More - A form to complete in order to report on successful actions taken.

While produced in conjunction with the Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen in 2009, the resource has relevance and application today.

General Assessment


  • If used as intended, the action component will serve to empower students.
  • The lessons are very easy to use and all necessary computer links are supplied.
  • The lessons are pedagogically strong.
  • The tagd website provides all sorts of useful links to UNICEF resources.


  • Assessment tools will need to be developed by the classroom teacher.
  • Measurement and celebration of success are omitted from the action planning list.

What important ideas are implied by the resource, but not taught explicitly?

  • The western world is responsible for climate change.
  • Those who's rights are met must ensure the rights of the less fortunate are met.
  • Children have the power to create change.
  • Whole populations will need to be relocated in the future.
  • Humans are the world's most important life form.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Citizenship (1)

    • General Guide to Taking Action
  • Energy (1)

    • Energy Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Bias Minimization Very Good
  • The bias' are that awareness of the implications of our western world actions could change them, and that those who have their human rights met have the responsibility to uphold the human rights of other world citizens.
Bias Minimization: Presents as many different points of view as necessary to fairly address the issue(s).
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good
  • Lessons provide a humanistic stage for discussion of the multiple dimensions of the problem.
  • Lessons are rooted in a human rights perspective.
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

The resource effectively addresses multiple dimensions of problems and solutions. These should include the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

Respects Complexity Very Good
Respects Complexity: The complexity of problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.
Action Experience Very Good
Action Experience: Provides opportunities for authentic action experiences in which students can work to make positive change in their communities.
  • Poor = action activities poorly developed
  • Satisfactory = action opportunities are extensions instead of being integral to the main part of the activity
Action Skills Good
  • A basic step by step guide is provided for successful action and the action card suggestions provide some explicitly described ideas for action.
  • Direct teaching of these skills is not an aspect of the resource but may be a result of how the teacher chooses to support the students in ensuring the actions they choose are successful.
Action Skills: Explicitly teaches the skills needed for students to take effective action (e.g. letter-writing, consensus-building, etc.).
Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Satisfactory
  • It is up to the teacher to tie in a concrete out-of-doors component.
  • Some of the lessons could easily be conducted in the out-of-doors.
  • The effect of climate change on plants and animals, other than the human animal, are not an aspect of the lessons.
Personal Affinity with Earth: Actively encourages a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth. For example, this may involve practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors.
Locally-Focused Very Good
  • The subject is on the minds of young people and these lessons that encourage action empower them.
Locally-Focused: Encourages learning that is locally-focused/made concrete in some way and is relevant to the lives of the learners.
Past, Present & Future Good
  • The lessons are rooted in the present and future.
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good
  • The lessons utilize coupled inquiry- a combination of guided and open inquiry.
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning Very Good
Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning: Multidisciplinary= addresses a number of different subjects Interdisciplinary= integrated approach that blurs subject lines Good: The resource provides opportunities for learning in a number of traditional 'subject' areas (eg. Language Arts, Science, Math, Art, etc.). Very Good: The resource takes an integrated approach to teaching that blurs the lines between subject boundaries.
Discovery Learning Very Good
Discovery Learning:

Learning activities are constructed so that students discover and build knowledge for themselves and develop largely on their own an understanding of concepts, principles and relationships. They often do this by wrestling with questions, and/or solving problems by exploring their environment, and/or physically manipulating objects and/or performing experiments.

  • Satisfactory = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use & some direction on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides some opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event
  • Good = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use, & make their own decisions on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides definite opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event.
  • Very Good = Students choose what questions to investigate as well as the materials/strategies to use to answer them.
Values Clarification Very Good
Values Clarification: Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
  • Poor = Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
  • Satisfactory = Students are given a formal opportunity to clarify their own values. The range of perspectives in the resource is limited, therefore, students do not have an appropriate amount of information to clarify their own values.
Differentiated Instruction Very Good
Differentiated Instruction: Activities address a range of learning styles/different intelligences. They teach to both cognitive and affective domains. Accommodations are suggested for people with learning difficulties.
Experiential Learning Good
  • Simulations help build student understanding that ultimately lead to their authentic action projects.
Experiential Learning: Direct, authentic experiences are used.
  • Satisfactory = simulation
  • Good = authentic experience
  • Very Good = authentic experience related to the primary goal of the lesson
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
Cooperative Learning: Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
  • Satisfactory = students work in groups
  • Good = cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good = cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory
  • While discussion questions are provided, nothing is provided to capture student performance throughout the process. The final action project assignment would certainly be assessable.
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Poor/Not considered
Peer Teaching: Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
  • Satisfactory = incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good = an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good
Case Studies: Relevant case studies are used. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events in real situations that can be used to examine concepts in an authentic context.
Locus of Control Very Good
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.